Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Roman Catholic Gospel Paradigm

Here's the program.

On today's program I discussed a lecture I was sent by Jason Stellman on "Gospel Paradigms". In this lecture, he argues that the Roman Catholic gospel paradigm fits the New Testament data better than the Prostestant paradigm. This lead to a discussion of issues as various as James 2 and justification, sola scriptura in the early church, and the development of dogma in Roman Catholic theology.


Nicholas said...

He sure uses the word "paradigm" a lot. :)

Daniel Casey said...

Thanks Jordan. Going back and listening to your other episodes as well.

As an ex PCA, now LCMS person, I find your analysis helpful.

Having read many articles on the Called to Communion website, I find myself looking more towards Rome than I have previous, but trying to temper my thoughts, feelings, with some healthy, balance insight.

Jordan Cooper said...

If you are encountering questions about Rome, please feel free to ask. And I recommend reading Chemnitz' Examination of the Council of Trent; If you do,I can almost guarantee that you won't want to go to Rome.

Joe said...

You mentioned Ireaneaus in relation to scripture/tradition in this podcast, so here are a few quotes from him:

"Since, therefore, the tradition from the apostles does thus exist in the Church, and is permanent among us, let us revert to the Scriptural proof furnished by those apostles who did also write the Gospel, in which they recorded the doctrine regarding God, pointing out that our Lord Jesus Christ is the truth, and that no lie is in Him."

"Such, then, is their system, which neither the prophets announced, nor the Lord taught, nor the apostles delivered, but of which they boast that beyond all others they have a perfect knowledge. They gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures; and, to use a common proverb, they strive to weave ropes of sand, while they endeavour to adapt with an air of probability to their own peculiar assertions the parables of the Lord, the sayings of the prophets, and the words of the apostles, in order that their scheme may not seem altogether without support."

"We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith."

"Since, therefore, the entire Scriptures, the prophets, and the Gospels, can be clearly, unambiguously, and harmoniously understood by all, although all do not believe them; and since they proclaim that one only God, to the exclusion of all others, formed all things by His word, whether visible or invisible, heavenly or earthly, in the water or under the earth, as I have shown from the very words of Scripture;"

"When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but vivâ voce:"

David Gray said...

And I recommend reading Chemnitz' Examination of the Council of Trent; If you do,I can almost guarantee that you won't want to go to Rome.

I find keeping a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church about helps as well.

Joe said...

for the record...I would really appreciate you to continue this commentary on Stellmans lecture.

I know you mentioned that you would like to know if there is further you have at least one person interested. :)

Joe said...

Here is the quote you mentioned on Trent that seems to have been re-interpreted recently:

"The sacred and holy, ecumenical, and general Synod of Trent,--lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the Same three legates of the Apostolic Sec presiding therein,--keeping this always in view, that, errors being removed, the purity itself of the Gospel be preserved in the Church; which (Gospel), before promised through the prophets in the holy Scriptures, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, first promulgated with His own mouth, and then commanded to be preached by His Apostles to every creature, as the fountain of all, both saving truth, and moral discipline; and seeing clearly that this truth and discipline are contained in the written books, and the unwritten traditions which, received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the Apostles themselves, the Holy Ghost dictating, have come down even unto us, transmitted as it were from hand to hand; (the Synod) following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety, and reverence, all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament--seeing that one God is the author of both --as also the said traditions, as well those appertaining to faith as to morals, as having been dictated, either by Christ's own word of mouth, or by the Holy Ghost, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession.

J. Dean said...

Good podcast, Jordan. Stellman leaves me scratching my head with his lecture though.

Jordan Cooper said...

Thanks Joe. That's what I was looking for.

Wesley said...

I couldn't believe it when Stellman likened the Bible to a pile of bricks and materials that is in need of the church to come along and fashion the materials into an organized and coherent structure. He knows that's not true. What kind of Presbyterian was he? How was he able to be a Bible teacher all those years without the Roman Catholic Magisterium telling him what house to build and how to build it? Does he believe everything he ever taught before was untrue? If so, he has years of apologizing to do to his entire former congregation. He better get started.

And if that wasn't shocking enough, he actually made the claim that the Bible could just as well lead a person to be an Arian as a Trinitarian. That is perfectly in keeping with his pile of bricks analogy, but it is utterly shocking to me. As was pointed out by Jordan, that certainly isn't what the orthodox Fathers thought in the 4th century. No, they argued in defense of the faith they had inherited on the basis of the authority, clarity, and sufficiency of Scripture.

The portions of this lecture Jordan played are so weak. I can't imagine what convinced him to become Roman Catholic. It certainly wasn't an intellectual conversion. Something else, something spiritual, was at work (and continues to be at work) in his life to bring this about and cause him to say the things he is saying. I think his conversion to Rome is a very sad thing.

EJ said...

Thanks for this podcast Jordan, it's very helpful to me. The point you made about Athanasius refuting Arianism with the words of scripture pretty much demolished his argument. I have many RC's in my family so I found this one especially interesting. My father was a convert from RC to Lutheranism and I married a RC and my first son was baptized at a RC parish. I was close to becoming a RC but after learning what they actually believe I just couldn't reconcile it with the Bible. Your info about the church fathers and how they contradict current RC teaching is really helpful.

John Bugay said...

Joe -- regarding your comment about Trent and "unwritten tradition", here is a good spot in the CCC to look at:

Essentially, they hang on to the same "two sources" teaching, which has expanded to say "one common source" with "two distinct modes of transmission.

At the heart of the Roman Catholic teaching is the notion that "the Roman Catholic Church" -- which is, in their view, "the universal church of all ages" -- (its current leadership structure included, having been "created" and now somehow maintained through all time through "apostolic succession") were (ontologically) created when Jesus spoke the words in Matt 16:18.

Note that small "t" "[t]raditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium. This accounts for the "fluidity" in Roman Catholic doctrine over time. Roman Catholics are dependent on the "Magisterium du jour". Not on "the faith given once for all".

Mike Baker said...

Church Tradition versus New Testament Scripture is a false dichotomy and Roman Catholics love to pit one against the other in discussions with various protestants. That's when alot of mythologizing on both sides tends to happen.

As a Lutheran, it is simple for me to change the discussion by properly defining the nature of these two seemingly different sources of doctrine by calling a thing what it is. In the church they both were "The apostolic teaching".

What did the church use before Scripture was penned? The apostolic teaching.

What is NT Scripture? The apostolic teaching.

What must we modern christians hold fast to? The apostolic teaching.

...then it is simply a matter of pointing out where the unaltered apostolic teaching resides in our day. It isn't in the progressive theology of rome and it isn't in the novel doctrines of the radical reformation.